Cornerback Darius Slay led the NFL in interceptions and passes defended last season, and was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler for the Detroit Lions. Slay is among the best corners in the NFL right now, but don't think for a minute he's resting on his laurels.
Slay puts in work, a lot of work, and this offseason that included workout and video sessions with some of the other top cornerbacks in the NFL. Slay, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, Xavier Rhodes and Ahkello Witherspoon all met up this offseason in California to work out and watch tape.
It was an idea Sherman got from veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who's gotten some of the league's top receivers together to work out in the offseason in the past.
"Some of the top guys in the league just helping each other get better every day," Slay said after Saturday's practice when asked about the workouts. "Whatever we could do to help each other reach our next level."
Slay had been on the fast-path to stardom in the years leading up to last season, but his eight interceptions and 26 passes defended a year ago propelled him smack dab into the conversation of being among the league's best.
Slay said he learned a ton from the workout and film sessions.
"Watching film from other guys and seeing how they're looking at it and how I looked at it," Slay said. "Working on some press work. Different techniques at the line of scrimmage. A lot of good stuff. It was really good."
One of the things Slay said he wanted to learn specifically from Sherman were some of his secrets and techniques to playing the deep ball so well.
"He's the best corner in the league picking (off) the deep ball," Slay said of Sherman. "Any fade ball is rarely caught on him because he plays it so well and he understands when to look back and when not to look back, when to make the play and when not to make the play he needs to make.
"He's pretty good at it and I just took that form and tried to put it into my game."
But don't think it was just a one-way street of Slay learning from the more veteran Sherman. Slay is one of the best route readers at the position, and that's one of the areas where the others picked his brain.
"I'm a real good route reader," Slay said. "I'm good with that and they took it and ran with it. They saw it on film and said, 'Okay.'"
Slay said the group plans to continue to get together in the coming offseasons to collaborate more.